By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
The city is in the running once again to become a blue community.
Clinton has been selected to move forward as one of the twelve finalists in the second round to become a Blue Zones Project demonstration site.
Other finalists include Altoona, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Marion, Muscatine, Ottumwa, Oskaloosa and Sioux City.
These communities submitted applications in August in the second and final selection round for communities of this size, and all have been deemed qualified to progress as finalists.
The six sites that are chosen will join Cedar Falls, Mason City, Spencer and Waterloo, which were named in May as the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site communities in Iowa with populations greater than 10,000 citizens.
The selected communities will receive assistance from experts to develop and implement a blueprint for making permanent environmental, social, and policy changes that transition people into healthier behaviors that can lead to longer, happier lives. Clinton was selected as a finalist in the first round as well.
Six of the larger finalist communities did not receive site visits during round one of the large community selection process which took place earlier this year (Altoona, Burlington, Dubuque, Iowa City, Marion, and Oskaloosa). Those communities will receive site visits this fall.
The final six Iowa communities with populations above 10,000 named Blue Zones Project demonstration sites will be selected in January for a total of 10 demonstration sites in communities of this size.
The Blue Zones Project is based on Blue Zones principles developed by Dan Buettner and is the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016 as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the first-ever daily assessment of U.S. residents' health and well-being. Blue Zones Project employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better lives by taking a systematic, environmental approach to well-being, which focuses on optimizing policy, social networks, and the built environments where individuals spend their time.